John Tenet was born in Albania on May 5, 1907. He toiled in the La Houve coal mines in France before immigrating to the United States in 1928.
Tenet discovered he had a talent for cooking and became a chef. U.S. Census records show he had an eighth-grade education, and his options were limited.
He decided to open a diner in an old railroad car at 252-19 Northern Blvd. and called it the 20th Century Diner. His wife, Evangelia, bore him twin boys on January 5, 1953, George and William. They lived in a semiattached 53-by-119-foot house at 42-28 Marathon Pkwy. John sold the valuable corner diner property in 1960 to a group of four investors who enlarged the joint and renamed it the Scobee Diner.
John stayed on as the chef, working there until his death in 1983. His focus was the education and future of his two sons.
William became a doctor and George got into government and politics. He was appointed to head the CIA in 1997, and stayed on until he resigned in July 2004. He served two U.S. presidents of opposing political parties — Democrat Bill Clinton and Republican George W. Bush.
The Tenet house looks pretty much the same today as it did when the future spymaster’s family lived there.